The Blank Page of Any Designer

All creators, be they writers, artists, poets or designers, invariably begin their work with a “blank page”. It’s the nightmare before the victory, the neutral “material” over and from which “something” will be moulded. Every creation starts from scratch, from discussions, analysation, things out of which ideas, concepts are born. So far it all comes down to linking words together, loose ideas that are examined, commented on, demolished or selected for further investigation. The pencil on paper or the mouse on the screen only come after, after the invariable succession of ups and downs of the conceptualisation of the objective is achieved.

The work of designers is both creative and analytical. Or analytical and creative. Or alternating between creative and analytical. Or creative and analytical simultaneously. There is no recipe, no standard sequence of phases. In principle, we start by thinking and asking questions, then we analyse. But our creative half of the brain isn’t leaving us alone and at peace and works in the background, generating visual solutions to the ideas or concepts that are born. Some die as quickly as they appear, pulverised by a decisive criterion, others have a longer life, and others, few or sometimes even one-of-a-kind, live and get to be transformed into results.

Designers constantly give birth to ideas and then kill them, until a final genocide of ideas takes place. We are both mothers and diggers and we permanently live in two worlds, the pragmatic one, subject to rules, objective figures, and the ideational one, where the mind often runs away in places which are unsuspected and unfiltered by the consciousness of our analytical half.

Design is like being at war with ever-changing rules, a war that takes place on a minefield and where nobody takes prisoners. Designers are somewhat like soldiers from special forces who need to be prepared to solve any situation no matter what happens. We care about our ideas and creations a lot, but we can just as well demolish them and forget about them instantly, no matter how beautiful or conquering they may be, if they don’t fit in with our goals. Every day, we kill and give up on 1,000 ideas just for a single one to win in the end.

All in all, it is the most beautiful, demanding, non-linear, free and far from a routine profession in the world. Perhaps only being a doctor is equivalent, or maybe surpasses it.